For the Caramelized Onions
- 1 Large Spanish Onion -- sliced 1/4" thick
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper -- To Taste
For the Meatballs
- 1 1/2 Pounds Meatloaf Mix (pork, Veal & Beef) or any combination or just beef
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 2 Cloves Garlic -- Minced
- 3 Tablespoons Onion -- Minced
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese -- Grated
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano - Dried
- 1 Teaspoon Basil Leaves
- 3 Tablespoons Parsley - Flat Leave/italian -- Chopped
- Salt and Pepper -- To taste
- 1 Loaf Italian Bread - the Wide Kind (12 Slices ) -- sliced 3/4-inch thick
- 12 Slices Provolone Cheese (not Smoked)
- 12 Slices Deli Mozzarella or Presliced Sargento in the Refrigerator Section
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
For the Onions
In a large skillet,over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil . Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to low/medium low. Stir in the sugar and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the Balsamic Vinegar and adjust the salt and pepper and sweetness if desired
For the Meatballs
Soak the bread crumbs in the milk for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes squeeze the extra milk from the crumbs and add to the meat mixture.
In a large bowl mix the meat, garlic, onion, Parmesan Cheese, Oregano, Basil, parsley and soaked bread crumbs.
Salt and pepper to taste. Heat a small amount of the mixture in a fry pan or microwave to taste the salt and pepper levels. The parmesan cheese can be salty so use caution with the salt addition until you taste it.
Form the meat mixture into 6 oblong patties similar in shape to the bread. Indent the center for a more even cooking process.
On a grill or grill pan cook the patties in batches if necessary for 4-5 minutes on each side.
To assemble and cook the Panini
Mix the garlic powder and olive oil together
Brush one side of the bread with the oil.
With the oiled sides out layer one slice of mozzarella and one slice of provolone the patty and the onions. Add another slice of each cheese and another slice of bread. Press down lightly.
Using a panini press or grill or skillet brown each side until golden brown. If you don't have a press, place a piece of foil on the sandwich and weigh with a heavy pan